BLAZE (Eng.)

– Thank you so much for answering to this interview. First off, tell us a bit how did BLAZE born and who you are.

This is Hisashi Suzuki, guitar from Blaze,Osaka,Japan. I had not played since my previous band were broke up in 1995, Mr.Shiota ,who is my old friend but we had not played together, asked me if we form a band in 1998. We had a gig per 2 months for our pleasure next year. We had made 2 tracks demo CDR in 2001 to get more audience here. This demo got good reviews on some small fanzines in Japan. So we could be active regularly. But the drummer left the band in December in 2001 and then we could not find a new drummer for 2 years. In 2003,Mr.Yamamoto joined, but we could not be active well by the reason of member’s sickness and unemployment. We had been active since 2006 regularly and released our first album in 2007 by ourselves. In 2009,Mr Yamamoto left and Mr.Funabiki joined.

– I have been listening to your album and, first of all, I would like you to explain us, as if I have read at some sites, “Blaze” was released back in 2007, or is it now being distributed worldwide?

No, our album was not distributed worldwide. Some CDs were supplied from us and small shops in Japan.


– Coming back to this effort, it has honestly surprised me to found an album so inspired by the 890’s and 70’s. How did your passion for these styles arise? Did you have clear since the beginning how did you want to sound? It has reminded me a lot to the “Hard and Heavy” album by another Japanese band named HEAVY METAL ARMY.

Yes, I’m influenced 70’s British Rock and early 80’s heavy metal & NWOBHM. I just play what I want to hear. When I formed Blaze, my aim was not to get a major deal in Japan. I decided to play what I like for myself. As for Heavy Metal Army, though I have not been said by others here, I do not mind it.


– From my side I appreciate it nowadays bands that still keep that clear and classic sound. How were the recording sessions for this album like?

I have not much experience of recording. I had not done special. Anyway, as our budget was a little, we had recorded rhythms for 2 days and then vocal and guitar for 2 days.


– I’m a huge follower of Japanese bands from the 80’s, let it be LOUDNESS; ANTHEM, BOW WOW, HELLEN, SEIKIMA or CRI MAX. Are those influences as well for you when it comes to perform?

I have not been influenced by Japanese bands so much, but I was stimulated by Marino and Kodomo Band. Loudness’ is top of Japanese metal. I liked Lazy (pre-Loudness) last album Earth Ark, and then their sound was changed into the direction different from the sound I like. But Mr.Akira Takasaki is a great guitarist.


– Japan has always been a prolific country for Heavy Metal bands, as well as a paradise for groups mailing from other parts of the world to record their albums. How do you currently see the musical life for BLAZE in Japan? Has everything changes into the scene since the 80’s?

Umm, it’s difficult to say. At first, it’s still severe for Blaze here. I have not interests in Japanese heavy metal so much except a few bands since 1980’s to present, so that I do not know well. I think Japanese bands are not changed so much since 1980’s.


– As curiosity and listening to an album with influences from the NWOBHM to the most classical Heavy Metal at the MSG’s style and 70’s bands as UFO or THIN LIZZY, tell me 5 albums that inspire you when it comes to play.

I like UFO – no heavy petting, Thin Lizzy – jailbreak , Iron Maiden – iron maiden ,Status Quo – quo and Wishbone Ash – wishbone ash. I may say other albums next time…


– Have you had any offers to play festivals or other places, as Europe for instance?

No, we have not received any offers.


– And don a view to the future, do you have new songs in mind for upcoming records? And, if so, will they still be on the style of this superb first album?

We want to record 4-5 new songs and release this year. Perhaps, our style will not be changed.


– That has been everything from our side, has been a pleasure to know a bit more about you and our best wishes and hope to see you someday live.

Thanks. I would like to play in Europe someday, if there’s a chance.

Paco Gómez


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